Track 08: Dito Ka Lang Sa'Kin

The One I Once Loved
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[ Now Playing: Magpahinga by Ben and Ben ] 



 

Two Years Later, After Graduation

 

I remember how I told you once, sandal ka lang sa'kin.

 

It is something that we’ve agreed upon, at natatandaan kong nagsimula ito nang sumandal ka sa akin sa Psychology Class ni Professor Sunny at hinayaan kitang matulog ng dalawang oras—natatandaan kong sobrang worth it nun kahit na I spent the rest of the day with Salonpas strips stuck upon my shoulder, at inantok din ako throughout the day.

 

Pahinga.

 

Ikaw yun sa buhay ko, Irene.

 

It feels easy how I can lean on you whenever I feel tired, whenever I feel so blue na parang ang unbearable na ng bawat araw na dumadaan—when I get home, it is always you that I get to see first before anything else.

 

When I get home, I am met by your embrace.

 

But somehow… 

 

Embraces weren’t enough.

 

The longing I have…

 

It changed.

 

Siguro dahil sa panahon?

 

No, I’m certain it would go back.

 

Kasi it’s you.

 

No matter what, through everything else, it’s always going to be you.

 

‘Di ba?

 

Hay, Irene.

 

No, wait…

 

That’s not what I call you, ‘di ba?

 

Mahal.

 

Yes, that’s right.

 

You stare at me so lovingly at the endearment, that familiar smile I fell in love with in our third years settling back into your lips like it lives there permanently because of me. It is because of me that you smile like that, and I will never forgive myself if I am the one to take that away from you; I know that it is something I will carry forever.

 

“Ang lalim naman ata ng iniisip mo?” pagtatanong mo, at kita kong kumunot ang noo mo habang inilagay mo ang kamay mo sa pisngi ko, the warmth of your hand seeping through my system and setting the cold inside of me on fire—

 

Wait.

 

Cold?

 

What cold?

 

Why?

 

No, there is none of that.

 

All I have is the warmth of you.

 

Right?

 

“Wala…” sagot ko, at nginitian mo na lang ako ulit habang inalis mo na ang kamay mo sa akin—I pull you close and hug you tight, resting my chin on your shoulder like always, but somehow it feels too foreign. 

 

Like it is something I have never done before, but I've done this almost a million times; you love my hugs, you always say.

 

Pero bakit ganun? 

 

Parang hindi dapat? 

 

I just shrug the feeling away, humming an unknown tune as you chuckle at me.

 

“Mahal, I know you.” you say, and yesterday it could have been so sweet and loving, but now it isn’t.

 

It scares me.

 

It scares me just how much you know me, so do you also know the turmoil upon my heart, Joohyun?

 

You scare me.

 

You’re perceptive and I know that well; you know the problem I have first before I can even realize it myself, so paano ako magtatago sa'yo? 

 

"Just… some work related stuff, Joohyun." 

 

 

The name alone sends shivers down my spine, and you immediately notice how I tense up against your embrace, because I know that you noticed it, and I feel more afraid than ever—

 

"Oh," is what you say, "Kung ganun, edi pahinga na tayo, Mahal." 

 

The endearment sends pain across my system, at kahit na alam kong masakit ay mas pinili kong magpanggap sa harapan ng babaeng pinakamamahal ko, only bearing to send a smile her way as I move towards the bedroom that we shared. 

 

"Mahal?" she called out, and as I turn back towards her, I feel like the dream I've built over the years I've been with her slowly crashed down, burying me in the process. 

 

Suffocating me with her smile. 

 

Killing me with her love I know that I would never be able to give back the way she wants me to. 

 

"I love you," she says, and I feel like I'm getting stabbed over and over again. 

 

"Always…" she says, and I know that she knows something. "...and forever." 

 

Silence crashes against the both of us, at hindi ko maiwasan ang hindi ka tignan dahil parang matutunaw ako sa tingin mo in all the wrong ways, in all those ways that set me ablaze to my demise. 

 

You'll be the death of me, Irene. 

 

"I love you too," I say, and it does not feel right. 

 

Not at all. 

 

"Tulog na tayo?" She says, and I nod at that as I change my clothes first at nagdesisyon nang humiga sa tabi niya—I stiffen as you plant a kiss upon my cheek, going down my neck. 

 

It should feel right. 

 

Hindi ba? 

 

Kasi you're the girl I chose to be with, and I promised you forever. 

 

Forever feels so long, now that I think about it. 

 

Instead all I can say is, "Joohyun, pagod ako." 

 

"Oh." 

 

I watch as she smiles at me, planting one last kiss upon my lips and hugs me tight once—she turns her back towards me and I realize I've made a mistake. 

 

One that I could not take back, no matter how I try. 

 

"Mahal?" I ask, calling out upon the air that had already gone silent, at hindi siya sumagot. 

 

Instead all I can feel is her breath  getting steady, and this time she's not in my embrace. 

 

Instead, she feels so far away now. 

 

Ang layo-layo ko na, Joohyun. 

 

I'm sorry. 

 

Patawarin mo ako. 

 

Ako pa rin naman ang pahinga mo, hindi ba? 



 

 

Twelve Hours Before.

 

[“We’ll call you once a spot opens up. Thank you for your time, Miss Seulgi.”]

 

.

 

Lagi na lang.

 

Sa inis ko muntik ko nang ibato yung cellphone ko sa pader, but I hold back—Joohyun gets out of the shower just as I ended the call, so I just pocket the phone and muster a smile for her, and as always she notices.

 

Lagi niya namang napapansin lahat, and that’s what I love about her—but not now, please.

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Comments

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forgotme #1
Chapter 18: Grabe nman mapanakit..
Wala bang part 2 ung continuation 😁✌️
sluggiebearr
#2
Chapter 18: wtf did i just read 😭😭😭😭😭 ang sakit sakit ng puso ko sobra ano to
xantheaverielle
#3
Chapter 18: Sobrang sakit ng fic na 'to. Cried too much from reading this. So beautifully written and so painfully good. Made me realize so much. Thank you for this work, author!
Reveluvteddy #4
Chapter 18: This is really good. Hurt so good 💔
seulsbear
#5
Chapter 5: Ang ganda ng story na 'to! Nasa chapter 4 pa lang ako pero parang may ib-binge read ako ngayon😭

This story deserves more comments and reads! I'm guessing the reason why di gaanong kilala 'tong story na 'to even tho it's so good is because you didn't put a "seulrene" tag on its own sa description. I was only able to find this story through twitter :((
RVSone0105
960 streak #6
Chapter 5: Haist talaga seulrene!! Panindigan niyo rin ang kilig ko sa inyo, galawin niyo na ang barko juseyo 🥺 missed ko na kayo 😭
spagtitty #7
Chapter 18: Thank you so much for this masterpiece, author. I never knew I needed a beautifully written fic in my life. god im so glad dementia runs in my family and because of that i can read this again and again and again and experience catharsis 🧎🏻‍♀️
spagtitty #8
Chapter 14: ṣ̸̛̺̞̯̬̍̏̓̀̅̚̕e̶̘̤̪̟̭̰͑ư̵̳̱̥̙͆͐̌͋̂̈̈̅̍l̵̥̓͐̈́̓̌̃͂̅͝r̶̯͇̪͓͈̭̫̟̉͑͛̏̿̊è̶̛̙̙̭̖̦͐̀̓̐̓̓̇̀ņ̷̖͈̱͍͗́ê̵̬̗̪̫̆́̍͆͛͠f̷͈̹̜̦͍̱̉͐̉̅̈́̃̚͠l̵̫͂͗͆͌̈́̎̃̎͝ủ̶̡̡̻͈̠̤f̵̰̬͎͚͇̯̓̈́̌ͅf̵̡͓̙͕͓̞̳̞̀̍͋̚͜͜͝